Drought could cost economy $1b

Last updated 09:09 07/03/2013

Has the drought affected you?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Drought in South Auckland

Related Links

Drought maps

Relevant offers

Farming

John Key met Saudi who threatened to sue New Zealand ANZ censured over Fair Trading Act breach involving farmers Crop yields hold up on shrinking land North Canterbury drought brings out the good Once-a-day milking suits award-winning farmers Vodafone Rural Broadband uptake prompts inquiry call Dialing up advice for phones down on the farm Wilding's Te Mania bull operation set to expand Education, not punishment the key to farm safety Dairy farmers slashing costs will still be short

The big dry affecting large parts of the country could cost the economy $1 billion dollars, the Government has warned.

Yesterday Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy officially extended the declaration of drought, already in place in Northland, to cover South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay.

There are calls for the designation, which allows affected farmers to get financial support, to be extended further to cover Rangitikei and Manawatu.

Speaking to reporters as he travels with Prime Minister John Key in South America, Guy said an early estimate of the cost of the drought was $1 billion dollars.

"It's a little bit early to give you a definitive figure, but I would envisage it's in the region of $1 billion dollars, and that's why the government's reacting and providing some support to farmers," he said in comments reported by Radio New Zealand.

"That's of course emotional support, because it's a very stressful time, and also there'll be farmers out there in degrees of hardship, but they can turn up to MSD [the Ministry of Social Development] and get some financial support as well."

Banks have also announced support measures for farmers in drought affected areas, including suspending principal repayments and waiving bank fees.

Click on the map below to zoom in

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it time for authorities to introduce tougher penalties for poaching?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: Booby traps for poachers cost farmers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Agri e-editions

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online